It’s the time of year most wine lovers look forward to. Dinner party season is upon us and it’s the time to pull out the big guns. Bring out your best wines to share with friends over the holiday season. New Years is coming as well so good Champagne/Sparkling is in order as well.
But what if you are just getting started and need some recommendations for December? I’m so glad you asked. Here are a few of my favourite wine options for the next few weeks.
Riesling Zind Humbrecht 2011 or 2012 listed and available for sale at 13 different BC Liquor Stores $33.99 (not including tax) .Solid press from Wine Spectator. My take on it is there are few producers of white wine in the world I would take over Zind Humbrecht. Under the leadership of Olivier and Margaret Humbrecht since 1989 and converting in 1997 to bio-dynamic agriculture this winery has gone from strength to strength. Early on Olivier committed to increasing the amount of time the wines spent in the bottle before release. The grapes are picked very ripe with no chaptilisation or fining. Some fermentations take as long as a year to complete. This is richness density and purity of fruit at its finest. Enjoy with blue cheeses or a really smoky ham. Brilliant stuff.
Ridge Geyserville 2013 available for sale at New District Liquor Store in Vancouver BC $61.99. Ridge has been waving the flag for California Zinfandel for almost 50 years. This blend of 60% Zinfandel, 24% Carignane, 12% Petite Sirah, and 4% Mourvedre. Geyserville used to be called a Zinfandel however after a vineyard audit in 1989 the winery stopped using the reference to Zinfandel on the front label and switched to an accurate listing of the percentages. This is your go to Lamb wine; bring on all the garlic and rosemary you want. It begs for more.
Domaine de Bosquets Gigondas 2013 available for sale at Marquis Wine Cellars $46.90 tax included. Grenache 65 %,Syrah25 %,Mourvèdre7 % and Cinsault3 %. Think of this wine as your gateway drug to Chateauneuf du Pape .” Intense, with very pure, focused raspberry, boysenberry and blueberry fruit flavors that pump along, while a racy graphite note bolts down the finish. Alluring spice and black tea accents hang in the background. The finish features subtle, latent grip. Rock-solid. Best from 2016 through 2021. 500 cases imported. Score: 91 points— JM, Wine Spectator, Oct 2015” Run, don’t walk to MWC and buy some of this wine. Great host/hostess gift and a wonderful compliment to Prime Rib or vegetarian dishes that include fennel.
Gaston Chiquet NV Brut Blanc de Blancs d’Ay available for sale at Marquis Wine Cellars $75.90 tax included . Champagne can be divided in a few categories. Negociant Champagne is made by producers that typically don’t own all of the land the grapes are grown on and many times don’t control the viticultural practices either. A grower Champagne is exactly that, a single owner who grows the grapes, owns the property and makes the wine on their own. They are idiosyncratic and fabulous deals. The Gaston Chiquet is your ultimate bubble with seafood. If you are doing BYO Chinese Restaurants over the holiday you can’t go wrong.
Remember Spit Happens, tell your friends, drink great wine and eat great food.